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Ichiro closes in on 2,000 hits

Ichiro celebrates win over A’s. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Ichiro celebrates win over A’s. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. – Jose Lopez homered, Ichiro Suzuki took another step toward baseball history and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched eight innings for his first win since Aug. 9 and the Mariners moved eight games over .500 for the first time since 2007.

Ichiro had two hits to move within four of 2,000 for his career and is likely to become the second-fastest player in history to reach that plateau. Al Simmons did it in 1,390 games while Ichiro has played in 1,391. George Sisler is second on the list in 1,414 games.

Nomar Garciaparra homered for the A’s, who have lost six straight to the Mariners.

The 35-year-old Ichiro also moved closer to becoming the first player to have 200 hits or more in nine straight seasons. With 191 hits this season, Ichiro needs nine more to break the consecutive season mark he holds with Willie Keeler (1894-1901).

Seattle scored four in the second against Oakland rookie Clayton Mortensen (0-2), who was called up from the minors earlier in the day to make only his second start in the majors.

Jack Wilson hit a bases-loaded single to make it 2-0 before Ichiro chased a pitch out of the strike zone and singled to left for another run. Franklin Gutierrez followed with an RBI single to make it 4-0.

Rowland-Smith (3-2), who had gone four straight starts without a win, made it hold up.

The lefty allowed four hits, striking out four and walking one while going eight innings for the second straight start.

He gave up a RBI double to Ryan Sweeney in the third and a two-run home run to Garciaparra in the seventh on a ball that glanced off center fielder Gutierrez’s glove before going over the fence, but was otherwise solid.

Mark Lowe pitched the ninth for his second save in eight chances, completing the five-hitter.

Mortensen was strong after digging a four-run hole in the second inning.

Lopez hit his 21st home run of the season in the ninth off Oakland reliever Jeff Gray.

The Mariners played without designated hitter Ken Griffey Jr., who was a late scratch after originally being penciled in at the cleanup spot.

Griffey, who missed six straight games before going hitless in four at-bats Thursday, was in the original lineup submitted by Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu but was pulled out after batting practice with a sore knee.

Mike Sweeney replaced Griffey and went 1 for 5.

Mariners 6, Athletics 3

Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
I.Suzuki rf 5 0 2 1 0 1 .360
F.Gutierrez cf 5 0 1 1 0 0 .288
Jo.Lopez 2b 5 1 1 1 0 0 .263
M.Sweeney dh 5 0 1 0 0 0 .264
M.Snders pr-dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 .206
Beltre 3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .266
Hall lf 4 2 2 0 0 1 .277
Carp 1b 3 1 1 0 1 0 .316
Hannahan 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 .213
Johjima c 1 1 0 1 2 0 .244
Ja.Wilson ss 4 1 1 2 0 0 .205
Totals 36 6 9 6 3 2
Oakland AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Kennedy 3b 3 0 1 1 1 1 .280
R.Davis cf 4 0 0 0 0 0 .296
K.Suzuki c 4 0 0 0 0 0 .270
Hairston lf 4 1 1 0 0 1 .240
Garciaparra dh 4 1 2 2 0 1 .269
M.Ellis 2b 4 0 0 0 0 0 .273
Crosby 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 .220
R.Sweeney rf 3 1 1 0 0 1 .278
Pennington ss 3 0 0 0 0 0 .232
Totals 32 3 5 3 1 4
Seattle 040 000 011—6 9 0
Oakland 001 000 200—3 5 1

E—Pennington (1). LOB—Seattle 8, Oakland 3. 2B—Hall (5), Kennedy (21), R.Sweeney (22). HR—Jo.Lopez (21), off Gray; Garciaparra (3), off Rowland-Smith. RBIs—I.Suzuki (37), F.Gutierrez (57), Jo.Lopez (81), Johjima (20), Ja.Wilson 2 (7), Kennedy (51), Garciaparra 2 (15). SF—Johjima. RLSP—Seattle 1 (Jo.Lopez); Oakland 1 (K.Suzuki). RMU—Pennington.

Seattle IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Rowland-Smith W,3-2 8 4 3 3 1 4 3.88
M.Lowe S,2-8 1 1 0 0 0 0 3.09
Oakland IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Mortensen L,0-2 7 6 4 4 3 1 9.82
Wuertz 1 2 1 1 0 0 3.17
Gray 1 1 1 1 0 1 2.08

HBP—by Mortensen (Beltre). T—2:25. A—11,738 (35,067).

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